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OMA Talks Speaker Series

Learn about events that feature members who speak on topical health care issues.

There is an extraordinary number of experts, innovators, leaders and teachers in the community. OMA Talks will shine a spotlight on these physicians. Launched in 2019, this TED-Talks-style speaker series will feature topical health-care issues, new ideas and celebrate the physicians leading the way to improve health care for all.

Using these influential voices, we aim to start new conversations and make these ground-breaking discussions accessible to every Ontarian. These events are open to all members and will be recorded and shared on YouTube to reach a wide audience. 

Upcoming events

Healthy planet, healthy population

The OMA is hosting a virtual event on April 21, 6-7 p.m., on the eve of Earth Day. In the OMA’s Prescription for Ontario: Doctors’ 5-Point Plan for Better Health Care, CTV’s Avis Favaro will host a distinguished panel of experts to discuss the urgent need for the health-care sector to take action to mitigate the impact of climate change on human health and well-being.


avis-favaro.jpgAvis Favro

Health journalism is a passion for Avis Favaro. She has reported on medical and scientific developments for four decades – three of them with Canada's most-watched news service - CTV News. From the rise of HIV to COVID, she has documented discoveries that cure genetic defects to campaigns to promote patient safety. Now a grandmother of two, she is focused on the environment and the health of the planet which is our legacy for coming generations. She is thrilled to host this panel on climate change and health, hoping it inspires more to take action on this critical topic.


Keynote speaker 


Dr. Roberta Bondar 

The world’s first neurologist in space, Dr. Roberta Bondar is globally recognized for her pioneering contributions to space medicine research, fine art photography and environment education. Aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery mission STS-42 in 1992, she conducted experiments for 18 countries in the first International Microgravity Laboratory, a precursor to the International Space Station.

For over a decade after her spaceflight, she headed an international research team working with NASA on neurological symptoms seen after spaceflight, and their connections to neurological diseases on Earth.

Trained as a member of NASA’s Earth Observation Team, Dr. Bondar expanded her professional photographic expertise as an honours student in Professional Nature Photography. Her fine art photographic works are held in private, corporate and institutional collections in Canada, the U.S. and England. She is the author of four best-selling books featuring her writing and photography.

Dr. Bondar continues to use fine art photography to explore and reveal Earth’s natural environment from the surface, seeing the world through the creative lenses of a medical doctor, scientist, photographer, astronaut and writer. In her current project Protecting Space for Birds, Dr. Bondar is integrating three views of migratory bird corridors in the Americas and Asia-Europe-Africa—space, surface and aerial—to give us insight into the habitats needed by and to protect, endangered and threatened birds.

Dr. Bondar’s distinctions are diverse and include Companion of the Order of Canada, the Order of Ontario, the NASA Space Medal, induction into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and the International Women’s Forum’s Hall of Fame, 28 honorary doctorates from Canadian and American Universities, a former chancellor of Trent University, six Canadian schools in her name, a Specially Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, an Honorary Fellow and honorary vice-president of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, and a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame.


Dr.dr-kim-chi-tran.JPG Kim-Chi Tran

Dr. Kim-Chi Tran is the co-founder and co-chair of Green Is Health, OMA Interest Group. Among her early accomplishments with the OMA, she engaged in a collaborative effort to encourage the OMA to divest its investment portfolio from fossil fuels. She is a practising urologist at the Scarborough Health Network, where she is also spearheading the creation of a green team, focused on improving the network's sustainability and response to climate change. As a physician, she believes that it is our duty to create a healthier environment for those around us, and thereby safeguard the future for generations to come. Dr. Tran is honoured and excited to be part of this inspiring OMATalks event.



Dr. Mili Roy

Dr. Mili Roy is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto, Department of Ophthalmology and Ontario co-chair of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. As a mother and a practising physician passionate about the environment for decades, these spaces have increasingly intersected and merged as the need to act has become more urgent. She is honoured to be part of this landmark OMATalks event hoping it will energize physicians across Ontario to advocate for climate solutions through the lens of human health.

Previous events

COVID-19 impact on mental health: What we need to do now

Canadian broadcaster Valerie Pringle hosted a panel discussion with physician experts about the anxiety around returning to school, the dramatic rise in eating disorders, and Indigenous and seniors’ mental health. This free virtual event was held on Aug. 25 and was open to all OMA members. 

Watch the 'COVID-19 impact on mental health' event (Vimeo).

Planning for the next pandemic

On the first anniversary of Ontario declaring a state of emergency, the Ontario Medical Association held a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Samantha Hill, OMA president, to discuss planning for the next pandemic and applying lessons learned from COVID-19. More than 100 physicians joined Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto and co-chair of Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, Dr. Naheed Dosani, founder and lead physician, Palliative Education and Care for the Homeless (PEACH), Inner City Health Associates, Dr. Pamela Liao, assistant professor of palliative medicine at the University of Toronto and chair of the OMA Section on Palliative Care, Dr. Kieran Moore, Kingston’s medical officer of health and a member of the Ontario Ministers’ COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force and Dr. Jim Wright, OMA chief of economics, policy and research.

These experts shared their insights on how the issues in long-term care and health equity including systemic racism, workers’ rights and homelessness have been exacerbated throughout the pandemic. The critical role of public health in pandemic planning and response was also a key theme. The third event in the OMA’s thought leadership series OMA Talks, was held virtually on March 17, 2021.

Watch the 'Planning for the Next Pandemic' panel discussion and Q&A (Vimeo)

Healing the gender gap

Over 300 physicians joined panellists Dr. Sharon Straus, director of Knowledge Translation and physician-in-chief at St. Michael’s Hospital, Dr. Gianni Lorello, staff anesthesiologist at Toronto Western Hospital and assistant professor at the University of Toronto, Dr. Tara Kiran, Fidani chair in Improvement and Innovation and vice-chair Quality and Innovation at the University of Toronto and Dr. Michelle Cohen, family physician and assistant professor at Queen’s University for an evening of thoughtful dialogue moderated by the CBC’s Anna Maria Tremonti.

Healing the Gender Gap was the second topic featured as part of the OMA thought leadership series OMA Talks. This event was held virtually on November 27, 2020, the evening before the Fall 2020 Council Meeting.

Watch the 'Healing the Gender Gap' panel discussion and Q&A (Vimeo)

Watch the 'Healing the Gender Gap' event (Vimeo)

OMA Talks lived experience vignettes

Throughout OMA Talks Healing the Gender Gap physicians from across the province provided their perspectives on the gender gap by sharing their lived experiences with gender issues in medicine.

AI: Physicians in the 21st century

The OMA launched a new thought leadership forum entitled OMA Talks in 2019. The inaugural event was held on November 22, 2019, and featured a keynote speech by Dr. Steven Wartman, internist, sociologist, author and former president of the Association of Academic Health Centres. The event included a panel discussion with Dr. Frank Rudzicz, a scientist at the International Centre for Surgical Safety of St. Michael’s Hospital and Dr. Muhammad Mamdani, vice president of Data Science and Advanced Analytics at Unity Health Toronto. The first OMA Talks event was moderated by OMA President Dr. Samantha Hill and included a Q&A session.